Be it a sci-fi cantina or a fantasy tavern, your MMO's local watering hole no doubt offers a very specific sort of drug: alcohol. But you might have noticed that non-alcoholic drugs aren't usually given the same chance to virtually corrupt you as do more comfortable vices like extreme violence, gore, thievery, and physics-defying cleavage.
Immersion-centric players might argue that narcotics add to the gritty realism of many game worlds and aren't really different from other mind-and-body-altering substances like booze, but developers seem wary of wading into that territory. Star Wars Galaxies
, for example, launched with canon-correct spice (complete with "downer" effects) but ended spice production with the NGE. And Lord of the Rings Online
implemented Tolkien's famous pipeweed but has resisted bestowing beneficial effects on those who smoke it, probably for fear of encouraging "bad" behavior, triggering political drama, or jeopardizing its age rating.
What do you think -- do narcotics belong in MMOs?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!